Wednesday, March 29, 2023

New Report Says Number Of Global Usable Nuclear Warheads Increased In 2022

DW: Number of usable nuclear warheads increased in 2022 — report  

The world's stockpile of usable nuclear warheads increased by over 130 in 2022, Norwegian People's Aid has reported. The authors have warned of the risk that nuclear weapons pose to humanity. 

The number of nuclear warheads that states could deploy reached a total of 9,576 at the beginning of 2023, up from 9,440 the previous year, according to a report published by the NGO Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) on Wednesday. 

The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor report said that the weaponized nuclear power amounted to a "collective destructive power of more than 135,000 Hiroshima bombs."

The issue of nuclear weapons has become its most prominent since the end of the Cold War thanks in part to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent aggressive rhetoric, as well as fears over Iran's nuclear program and North Korea's renewed missile tests.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Driven by Russia and China, world's usable nuke arsenal rose in 2022, reveals study (First Post) 

Update #2: World’s arsenal of nuclear weapons now has power of 135,000 Hiroshima bombs, report says (Stars and Stripes)  

WNU Editor: The Norwegian People's Aid's report is here .... NPA’s latest Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor is out.

Russia Stages Major Nuclear Missile Exercises


Daily Mail: Putin stages major nuclear missile exercises involving 3,000 troops in show of strength to the West 

* Putin staging war games with Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system 

* Putin has aimed to make Yars missile system part of Russia's 'invincible weapons' 

Vladimir Putin is staging major nuclear missile exercises involving 3,000 troops in a show of strength to the West. 

The Russian despot's troops are staging war games with his 'invincible' Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system in three regions of Russia. 

A video shows the Yars missile system - which replaced the Topol - on drills amid his war against Ukraine and high tension with the West.  

Read more .... 

Russia Stages Major Nuclear Missile Exercises  

Russia starts exercises with Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles -- Reuters  

Russia announces exercises with nuclear capable Yars missiles following deployment deal with Belarus -- SKY News 

Russia Practicing Launches of Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles -- Newsweek 

Russia starts Yars intercontinental ballistic missile drills -- Al Jazeera

US Has Stopped Exchanging Nuclear Data With Russia After Moscow's Treaty Suspension

CNA/Reuters: US to stop exchanging nuclear data with Russia after Moscow's treaty suspension  

WASHINGTON: The United States has told Russia it will cease exchanging some data on its nuclear forces following Moscow's refusal to do so, the White House said on Tuesday (Mar 28), calling this a response to Russia's suspending participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty. 

While Russian President Vladimir Putin has not formally withdrawn from the treaty, which limits the two sides' deployed strategic nuclear arsenals, his Feb 21 suspension imperils the last pillar of US-Russian arms control. 

Between the two of them, the United States and Russia hold nearly 90 per cent of the world's nuclear warheads - enough to destroy the planet many times over. "Under international law, the United States has the right to respond to Russia's breaches of the New START Treaty by taking proportionate and reversible countermeasures in order to induce Russia to return to compliance with its obligations," a spokesperson for the National Security Council said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This US action is a response to Russia doing the same thing a few days ago .... Russia stops sharing missile test info with US, opens drills (Defense News/AP). Sighhh .... this is unprecedented. I cannot help but think that we are already at Defcon level two or three. And the rhetoric between the two countries continues to scalate .... Russia Calls Out 'Nuclear Weapons Hypocrisy': US Has Tactical Nukes In 5 Non-Nuclear Weapon States (Zero Hedge).

The Incredible Rise Of China As An Export Country

WNU Editor: Impressive.

Top US General Says A Rusian Victory In Ukraine Would Force A 'Doubling' Of The US Defense Budget

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley testifies before the House Appropriations Committee-Defense on the 2024 DoD Budget in the Rayburn House Office Building, March 23, 2023, in Washington D.C. (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza) Not Stopping Russia in Ukraine Would Force 'Doubling' of US Defense Budget, Milley Says 

The top general in the U.S. military warned Thursday that not supporting Ukraine now would lead to a massive increase in future defense budgets -- and global conflict that has been avoided since World War II ended. 

 "If that rules-based order, which is in its 80th year, if that goes out the window, then be very careful," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley testified to Congress on Thursday. "We'll be doubling our defense budgets at that point because that will introduce not an era of great power competition. That'll begin an era of great power conflict. And that'll be extraordinarily dangerous for the whole world." 

Milley's remark at a House Appropriations Committee defense subcommittee hearing comes amid growing skepticism from Republicans about the price tag of U.S. aid to Ukraine. Milley was testifying alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about the Biden administration's $842 billion request for Pentagon spending for fiscal 2024.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The proposed 2024 US defense budget is $886 billion .... Biden wants $886 billion defense budget with eyes on Ukraine and future wars (Reuters).

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 3.29.2023 (Video)


WNU Editor: A lot of updates on the Russia - Ukraine war from the Military Summary channel (see above). Alexander Mercouris gives his updates on the war below. 

Tweets On the Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Months Of Leaks Rattle Canada’s Spy Agency

A sign outside the CSIS headquarters in Ottawa. Photograph: Chris Wattie/Reuters  

The Guardian: ‘This is very bad for them’: months of leaks rattle Canada’s low-profile spy agency  

Allegations of attempted meddling by China put uncomfortable spotlight on publicity-shy CSIS 

Most Canadians have no idea where the country’s spy agency is located, nor do they know much about its daily operations. This is not because the Canadian Security Intelligence Service operates in a particularly clandestine fashion, it’s because most Canadians don’t care. 

The CSIS, a civilian-run organisation based in a triangular structure of concrete and glass on the outskirts of Ottawa, lacks the intrigue of Britain’s MI5 and the notoriety of America’s Central Intelligence Agency. 

“I look nothing like Daniel Craig, and I did not arrive here in an Aston Martin. I’m just as disappointed as you are – on both fronts,” its director, David Vigneault, said in a speech in 2018, poking fun at the service’s largely uncharismatic reputation. “Most of you remember the movie Fight Club. And you will know that the first rule of Fight Club is ‘don’t talk about Fight Club’. Well, the first rule of CSIS has always been ‘don’t talk’. Period.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: No one really knows where these leaks are coming from. But it is clear that there is at least one person in the national security bureaucracy who is not satisfied with the complete lack of response from the Canadian government on intelligence reports that China is interfering in Canada's elections.

Ukraine President Zelensky Invites Chinese President Xi Jinping To Ukraine


Politico: Zelenskyy to Xi Jinping: Come to Ukraine 

'We are ready to see him here,’ Ukrainian president says. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday invited his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to Ukraine, for what would be the first direct communication between the two leaders since the beginning of Russia’s all-out war on Ukraine. 

“We are ready to see [Xi] here,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with the Associated Press, a U.S. newswire, on a train to Kyiv, adding, “I want to speak with him.” “I had contact with him before full-scale war. But during all this year, more than one year, I didn’t have [contact],” Zelenskyy said.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Zelensky invites China’s Xi to visit Ukraine (The Hill)  

Update #2: Zelensky invites Xi Jinping to Ukraine (Ukrinform)  

WNU editor: I personally would not mind if Chinese President Xi goes to Kyiv. Anything to get the peace process moving forward should be supported. But I also know the Chinese do not operate like this. The will want Zelensky to first fly to Beijing to meet Xi. I also know the Chinese will first want to enter into talks before any official announcement is made. 

Beijing will not want President Xi to fly to Ukraine, or President Zelensky flying to Beijing, just for a photo-op. Beijing will want something concrete in return, but the problem is that I do not see Ukraine President Zelensky willing to compromise on anything right now.  

Update #3: This is not a good sign. The Chinese Foreign ministry does not know what the Ukraine President is talking about .... China’s MFA has no information about possible Zelensky–Xi meeting (Ukrinform).

Bulgaria's Pro-Kremlin Leader Refuses To Send Weapons To Ukraine

A Soviet-era S-300 -- an antiaircraft system which is still in service with the Bulgarian Army and which the United States reportedly asked Sofia to donate to Ukraine. (file photo)  

RFE: Bulgaria's Pro-Kremlin Leader Refuses To Send Soviet-Era Fighter Jets And Tanks To Ukraine  

With its stockpile of Soviet-era weapons, Bulgaria, home to a thriving arms industry, could be a key ally of Ukraine, which is trained on and equipped with such arms, in its war against invading Russian forces. 

But with parliament now dissolved ahead of elections on April 2, the fifth snap poll in two years amid political uncertainty, the caretaking government is in no mood to provide lethal aid to Kyiv, appointed as it was by President Rumen Radev, who is known for his pro-Kremlin leanings. 

Radev, a former air force pilot, doubled down on his hard-line stance on March 21, balking at joining a dozen EU states to supply Ukraine with at least 1 million artillery shells over the next year.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Bulgaria joins Austria and Hungary to not get involved in this war .... Bulgaria Refuses To Send Weapons To Ukraine, Joins Hungary & Austria's Neutral Stance (Zero Hedge/Remix News).

Ukraine Zelensky Explains Why Russia Must Not Win In The Battle For Bakhmut (Video)


WNU Editor: Ukraine President Zelensky admits that the battle for Bakhmut is all about PR, and denying Putin a victory. Small comfort to the thousands of Ukrainians who have died in the battle for this city.

Video Shows British Instructors Training Ukrainian Forces To Use Depleted Uranium Shells


Zero Hedge: Watch: Ukrainian Soldiers Seen With Depleted Uranium Ammo In UK 

Ukrainian soldiers have been filmed alongside depleted uranium ammunition that Britain is supplying to their country for the fight against Russia. 

The footage is contained in a documentary the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) released Sunday as Ukrainian tank crews completed their training. 

Britain is gifting 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine together with depleted uranium shells, which Declassified revealed last week.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: British instructors trained Ukrainian forces to use depleted uranium shells — website (TASS) 

Update #2: Ukrainians given depleted uranium training (RT)  

WNU Editor: You can see the depleted uranium shells starting at the 6:16 mark in the above video.

Russian Media Says Over 5.5 Mln Refugees Have Arrived In Russia from Ukraine, Donbass Since The Start Of The War

© Peter Kovalev/TASS 

 TASS: Over 5.5 mln refugees arrive in Russia from Ukraine, Donbass since February 2022  

About 39,000 people, including over 11,000 children, are staying at temporary accommodation centers in Russia 

MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. The number of refugees who have arrived in Russia from Ukraine and Donbass since February 2022 has grown to 5.5 million people, a law enforcement official told TASS on Tuesday. 

"Overall, since February [2022], a little more than 5.5 million people, including over 749,000 children, have arrived in Russia," the official said. 

About 39,000 people, including over 11,000 children, are staying at temporary accommodation centers in Russia. The others are living with their relatives, in private homes or have left Russia.  

Read more ....  

Update: Over 5.5 million refugees entered Russia amid Ukraine conflict – TASS (RT).  

WNU Editor: Other sources say only 2.8 million have fled to Russia (link here).

Ukrainian Officials Say They Can't Defend Itself Against Russia's Su-35 Jets

Russian Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighters perform a flight during the Aviadarts competition, as part of the International Army Games 2021, at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan, Russia August 27, 2021. Maxim Shemetov/Reuters  

ABC News: Russian jets of newer generation increase 'dominance' in combat zone, Ukrainian official says  

Ukrainian officials said Russia has replaced ageing jets with updated Su-35s.  

Newer generation fighter jets are giving Russia "increasing dominance" in the skies over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, according to a senior Ukrainian official. 

It is a potentially worrying shift for the United States and its allies because Russia’s inability to achieve total air superiority throughout the course of the war has been key to Ukrainian successes on the battlefield. 

In a briefing last week with journalists, a Western official downplayed the concern, stating that Russia’s ability to control the skies has been limited by air defense and surface-to-air missiles. 

"We’re not seeing a huge change in that situation," the official said. 

The senior official in Kyiv, who spoke exclusively to ABC News, said Russia had replaced older models of aircraft with its more modern Su-35.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: New Russian Su-35 jets increasingly dominating Ukraine skies, says Kyiv official (First Post) 

Update #2: Ukraine can't defend itself against Russia's newest jets – ABC (RT)  

WNU Editor: In response. Ukraine wants F-16s .... Ukraine should start preparing for receiving F-16 fighters - Air Force spox (Ukrinform).

British Intelligence Says Russia Has Removed Its Submarines From Crimea To Avoid Ukraine’s New “Long-Strike Range Capability”

A Russian navy submarine is seen in the Bay of Sevastopol | Viktor Drachev/AFP  

Politico: Russia removes submarines from Crimea to avoid Ukraine’s firepower, UK says 

British intelligence says relocation is highly likely due to ‘a change in local security threat.’ Russia has “almost certainly” removed its submarines from Crimea, British intelligence said Tuesday. 

The Kremlin’s move comes as a reaction to Ukraine’s new “long-strike range capability” and repeated attacks on the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, from where the Russian Black Sea fleet has now “almost certainly relocated its KILO-class submarines” to Novorossiysk in southern Russia, the U.K. said. 

In a statement, the British defense ministry said that the submarine relocation is “highly likely” due to the “change in local security threat level,” after the fleet headquarters and main naval aviation field were attacked in recent months.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This UK report makes sense. The expectation in Moscow is that NATO will soon be transporting even longer range weapon missile and drone systems to Ukraine. It is why anti-air platforms are being installed around Moscow, and why assets like Russia's strategic bomber fleet are being moved farther away from Ukraine. I guess submarines are now being included on the list.

US Official Says New US Drone Routes Over Black Sea ‘Definitely Limit’ Intelligence Gathering

An MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) sits in a hangar at Andersen Air Force Base after arriving for a deployment as part of an early operational capability (EOC) test to further develop the concept of operations and fleet learning associated with operating a high-altitude, long-endurance system in the maritime domain. Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19, the first Triton UAS squadron, will operate and maintain two aircraft in Guam under Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72. (Senior Airman Ryan Brooks/U.S. Air Force) 

CNN: New US drone routes over Black Sea ‘definitely limit’ intelligence gathering, says US official

 The US decision to fly its surveillance drones further south over the Black Sea after a Russian jet collided with a US drone earlier this month “definitely limits our ability to gather intelligence” related to the Ukraine war, a senior US military official tells CNN. 

Flying drones at greater distances reduces the quality of intelligence they can gather, a US military official explained, noting that spy satellites can compensate to some degree but have shorter times over targets, again reducing effectiveness relative to surveillance drones. 

After the Russian jet collided with a US Reaper drone earlier this month, the US began flying its surveillance drones further south and at a higher altitude over the Black Sea than previously, placing them further away from airspace surrounding the Crimean peninsula and eastern portions of the Black Sea.  

Read more ....  

Update: Drone incident hindered US intelligence gathering related to Ukraine war, says senior military official (First Post)  

WNU Editor: i am sure the US will find another way to gather their intelligence.

Is China A 'Near-Peer' Threat To The U.S.?

Air & Space Forces: The US Thinks China Is a ‘Near-Peer’ Threat. Does China Agree? 

The U.S. military wants to reinvent itself to prepare for a possible conflict with China, a country which many experts believe poses the greatest threat to U.S. national security. But how do Chinese leaders assess the strength of the People’s Liberation Army relative to the U.S. military? Researchers sought to answer that question in a recent report. 

The RAND Corporation report is one of the first analyses to study how the PLA understands and assesses military balance, in contrast to previous research that focused on quantitative aspects, such as how many pieces of equipment the PLA has and how its capabilities compare to those of the U.S. 

Specifically, the report focused on how the PLA views itself in four areas Chinese president Xi Jinping is worried about: political reliability, mobilization, fighting and winning wars, and leadership and command. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: In Asia, China's military is definitely up to matching what the US can deploy. But when looked globally, China's lack of infrastructure to deploy forces and materials is limited. I give them another 10 to 20 years before they become the "peer-threat" that many in the Pentagon are worried about.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Editor's Note

My Tuesdays are usually dedicated to helping Ukrainian refugees. But not today.

I am in Ottawa for the entire day. Two Federal Government MPs want to know what is my take on the Russia - Ukraine war, and after that I am going to see an old friend of the family. Blogging will return, but it will be late tonight.

Pentagon Prepares For War In Space

A key aim of the U.S. Space Force, created in 2019, is to plan, equip and defend U.S. interests in space.Photo: etienne laurent/Shutterstock  

Wall Street Journal: Pentagon Prepares for Space Warfare as Potential Threats From China, Russia Grow  

White House’s spending request includes plans for simulators, equipment to train Space Force members for battle 

The Pentagon is gearing up for a future conflict in space as China and Russia deploy missiles and lasers that can take out satellites and disrupt military and civilian communications. 

The U.S. military long ago dropped the notion of crewed, orbiting space weapons in favor of satellites because the logistics of supporting people outside of Earth’s atmosphere were formidable. 

The physics of space also make it impossible to sneak up on an enemy or quickly change orbit or direction. And earthbound tactics don’t work in space, where the U.S., China and Russia are all turning to satellites and sensors to wage and win any conflict. 

 “You can’t dig trenches in space,” said Marty Whelan, senior vice president of the Defense Systems Group at The Aerospace Corp., a federally funded research group. 

“If deterrence fails, you can’t wait until something bad happens to get ready. You have to have the full infrastructure together,” said Mr. Whelan, a former Air Force major general, who led a strategic review of space systems for the Pentagon and the intelligence community. 

The White House this month proposed a $30 billion annual budget for the U.S. Space Force, almost $4 billion more than last year and a bigger jump than for other services including the Air Force and the Navy. 

Read more ....  

WNU editor: When it comes to space, the Pentagon is focused on China .... China Deploys Weapons Capable Of ‘Wiping’ US Space Capabilities; PLA’s Phenomenal Rise Alarms Pentagon (EurAsian Times).

Former President Trump Tells Americans To 'Pray' As Nuclear Tensions Rise

Trump shares deepfake photo of himself praying (link here).  

Newsweek: Trump Tells Americans to 'Pray' After Putin Reveals Nuclear Weapons Plan 

Former President Donald Trump called on Americans to "pray" after Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed his latest plans for his country's nuclear weapons over the weekend. 

Putin announced on Saturday plans to place nuclear weapons in Belarus for the first time in decades as Russia's relations with the West continue to sour amid its invasion of Ukraine. 

The conflict has long sparked concerns of escalation, with fears that Russia could eventually use nuclear weapons in the ongoing war. 

Russia, on the other hand, has accused the West of inflaming tensions through its support for Ukraine.  

Read more ....  

Update: Donald Trump says 'pray' as he blames 'incompetent' Biden for Putin's nuclear threat (The Mirror)  

WNU Editor: A sign of the times. All the fears and worries of nuclear war during the Cold War are now rushing back in the 2020s.

Declassified Video Shows How B-52 Crews Would Conduct Nuclear Strikes During The Cold War


Daily Mail: Declassified footage shows how B-52 crews would conduct NUCLEAR STRIKES during Cold War - and how to get home safely 

* The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration released declassified footage from 1960 showing how to operate B-52s with nuclear missiles 

* Crew members received extensive training and wouldn't know if a mission was a test or not until they reached their target 

* Officials released the 30-minute video on March 20 as Russian leaders threaten nuclear forces if the West continues to send arms to Ukraine 

Declassified footage from 1960 revealed how the United States Air Force would perform nuclear strikes if needed amid the Cold War. 

The video, Nuclear Effects During SAC Delivery Missions, released by The US National Archives and Records Administration on March 20 helped prepare bomber crews operating B-52s. 

At the time, the aircrafts had nuclear missiles onboard that were ready to launch if the US was attacked by the Soviet Union.  

Read more ....  

Update: Declassified Video Shows How B-52 Crews Would Conduct Nuclear Strikes During Cold War (Aviationist)  

WNU Editor: Russian has also been declassifying their old nuclear files (see below). 

North Korea Claims It Has Developed Tactical Nuclear Weapons

Kim Jong Un with what North Korean state media says are tactical nuclear weapons 

 BBC: North Korea asserts first evidence of tactical nuclear weapons 

North Korea has revealed small nuclear warheads, which it says can be fitted on to short-range missiles. 

The North has long claimed it has tactical nuclear weapons, capable of hitting targets in South Korea. 

But the photos published in its state newspaper on Tuesday are the first time it has provided evidence. 

However, it is impossible to verify whether they are the real deal. Until North Korea tests one of these devices, we are left guessing. 

Read more ....  

Update #1: North Korea unveils new nuclear warheads as US air carrier arrives in South -- Reuters  

Update #2: North Korea unveils smaller nuclear warheads that may fit on variety of missiles -- Japan Times  

WNU Editor: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has also called for the production of more weapons-grade nuclear materials .... North Korean Leader Calls for More Weapons-Grade Nuclear Materials (VOA).

North Korea Puts City Under Lockdown Over 653 Missing Bullets

Hyesan has a population of around 200,000 people and lies on the border with China 

Daily Mail: Kim Jong Un puts entire city under lockdown after soldiers lost 653 bullets - and refuses to lift it until every single one is found 

* North Korean officials have searched house-to-house in the city, sources claim

* The assault rifle ammunition was discovered missing on March 7 

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un has put an entire city under lockdown after 653 bullets went missing during a military withdrawal, it has been claimed. 

The dictator's officials have searched house-to-house in the city of Hyesan, which has a population of around 200,000 people, for the ammunition, two sources told Radio Free Asia. 

'The city… will remain on lockdown until all 653 bullets are found,' a resident of the northern province of Ryanggang, where Hyesan is located, anonymously told RFA's Korean Service.  

Read more ....  

Update: Kim Jong Un has lept this North Korean city under strict lockdown; the reason may amuse you (MINT)  

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction. 653 bullets are going to be found, but my gut tells me these bullets would be brought from somewhere else and claimed as the missing bullets.

Picture Of The Day

Supporters of Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga of the Azimio La Umoja (Declaration of Unity) One Kenya Alliance, throw stones at riot police officers as they participate in a nationwide protest over cost of living and President William Ruto's government in Mathare settlement of Nairobi, Kenya March 27, 2023. REUTERS/John Muchucha  

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Kenyan police fire tear gas at anti-government protesters (Reuters).

Saudi Aramco To Invest Billions In A Chinese Petrochemical Complex

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Aramco logo is pictured at the oil facility in Abqaiq © Thomson Reuters Saudi Aramco To Build $10 Billion Refinery And Petrochemical Complex In China 

* Saudi Aramco plans to build a $10-billion refining and petrochemical complex in China in order to take advantage of the country’s growing fuel and chemical demand. 

* The complex is set to have a capacity of 300,000 barrels of crude per day, with Saudi Aramco supplying 201,000 barrels per day. 

* The project is scheduled for completion in 2026 and is part of a larger Saudi Aramco strategy to secure long-term demand for its oil. 

Saudi Aramco plans to build a $10-billion refining and petrochemical complex in China over the next three years, taking advantage of the country’s growing demand for energy. 

The complex will have a capacity of 300,000 barrels of crude daily, Aramco said in a news release. The Saudi major will supply 201,000 barrels per day to the facility. 

The project will be carried out in partnership between Aramco and two Chinese companies. Construction works should begin in the second half of this year, with the project scheduled for completion in 2026.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Saudi Aramco to invest billions in Chinese petrochemicals (AP)  

Update #2: Saudi Aramco boosts China investment with two refinery deals (Reuters)  

WNU editor: More evidence on the growing relationship between China and Saudi Arabia.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Russia Says They Have A "Unique Weapon" Capable Of Destroying The U.S.

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Security Council  

Ukrayinska Pravda: Russia threatens US with "unique weapon" capable of destroying it 

The Security Council of Russia claimed that Russia has a unique weapon capable of destroying even the US. 

Source: Russian Kremlin-aligned media outlets RIA Novosti and TASS with reference to Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Security Council 

Quote from Patrushev: "Russia has a unique weapon, which is capable of destroying any opponent, mainly the US, in case there is a threat to Russia’s existence." 

Details: He also added that "American politicians’ certainty that Russia will not be able to respond to a preventive strike by the US is a short-sighted and dangerous foolishness." 

Patrushev stated that after the collapse of the USSR, Russia allegedly "corrected its mistakes" and now "can facilitate both internal stability and protection from external dangers." 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: In my opinion Nikolai Patrushev is the second most powerful person in Russia after Putin. I think he is referring to an emp weapon.

The First Shipment Of Leopard 2 Tanks From Germany Has Been Sent To Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers receive training on German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks in Spain. Photo: Oscar Del Pozo/AFP  

BBC: Ukraine war: Germany sends much-awaited Leopard tanks 

The first shipment of Leopard 2 tanks from Germany has been sent to Ukraine, the German defence ministry says. 

Eighteen cutting-edge main battle tanks were delivered after Ukrainian crews were trained to use them. 

Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said he was sure the tanks could "make a decisive contribution" on the frontlines of the war. 

Challenger 2 tanks from the UK have also arrived, according to reports from Ukraine. 

Ukraine has been calling for more modern vehicles and weapon systems for months to help fight Russia's invasion. 

Read more .... 

The First Shipment Of Leopard 2 Tanks From Germany Has Been Sent To Ukraine  

German Leopard 2 tanks have reached Ukraine -- Reuters  

Ukraine Receives German Leopard, British Challenger Tanks -- AFP  

Ukraine Receives New Battle Tanks From Germany and Britain -- New York Times  

Ukraine Receives 18 Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks From Germany Besides 40 Marder IFV – Spiegel -- EurAsian Times  

German tanks arrive in Ukraine – Spiegel -- RT

Former US Officials Are Urging The Biden Administration To Counter The Region's Rapprochement With Syria.

US troops patrol in the countryside of Syria’s Hasakeh province near the Turkish border, on February 18, 2023. (AFP) 

Al-Monitor: Former US officials sound alarm on Biden's Syria policy 

A group of former US officials including Marine General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie Jr. and former Syria envoy James Jeffrey are urging the Biden administration to counter the region's rapprochement with Syria. 

WASHINGTON — As President Bashar al-Assad is gradually welcomed back into the Arab fold, a group of nearly 40 Syria experts and former US officials are calling on the Biden administration to more forcefully push back against the regime’s normalization. 

“Unconditional regime normalization is not inevitable,” they wrote in a letter Monday to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Opposing regime normalization in word only is not enough, as tacitly allowing it is short-sighted and damaging to any hope for regional security and stability.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: All the people I know in the Middle East are tired of endless war, and they are doubly tired of US policy and involvement in the Middle East. In fact many now see the US as the problem, not the solution to solve the many of the problems in the region. This push by these former US officials to counter the region's rapprochement with Syria is only confirming this sentiment.

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Says New U.S. Bases Will Be Scattered Across The Country

EurAsian Times: US Acquires ‘Critical’ Military Base Overlooking Taiwan & Claimed By China; Beijing Calls The Move ‘Provocative’ 

Amidst Chinese criticism mounting over the American role in the South China Sea, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr announced that four new military bases under a defense agreement with the US would be scattered across the country, including one in a province overlooking Taiwan. 

“There are four extra sites scattered around the Philippines — there are some in the North, there are some around Palawan, there is some further South,” Marcos told reporters on the sidelines of the Filipino army’s founding anniversary. 

The announcement comes after one of the most advanced fighter jets of the US Air Force, the F-22 Raptor, exercised with the Philippines Air Force (PAF) earlier this week, making it the first time the top-notch jet had visited the nation. 

The Filipino President further stated that his country and the US would reveal the locations of the bases soon, adding the sites would strengthen the country’s capabilities to protect the “eastern half” of its main island, Luzon.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Philippines President is defending his decision .... Marcos defends US military presence, which China opposes (AP). China has responded to this U.S. - Philippine defense agreement .... US making Philippines a pawn as it pushes for access to more military bases: expert (Global Times).

A TikTok Data Center's Demand For Electricity Is Preventing An Ammunition Arms Maker In Norway To Produce More Shells

The demand for artillery rounds, like those manufactured by Nammo, has increased because of the war in Ukraine.AP Photo/Libkos 

Business Insider: Weapons firm says it can't meet soaring demand for artillery shells because a TikTok data center is eating all the electricity 

* An arms manufacturer said that TikTok's data center is using all the electricity in the region. 

* As a result, the company said that it cannot keep up with the surging demand for artillery rounds. 

* The CEO told the FT that the company's growth is being "challenged by the storage of cat videos." 

A Norwegian arms manufacturer said that a TikTok data center is eating all the electricity in the region, meaning that the company cannot keep up with the surging global demand for ammunition. 

Experts are increasingly commenting on the massive demands of big tech companies, and how energy usage by their data centers is causing issues for other industries.  

Read more ....

 A TikTok Data Center's Demand For Electricity Is Preventing An Ammunition Arms Maker In Norway To Produce More Shells  

Ukraine Ammunition Supply Threatened by 'TikTok Cat Videos' -- Newsweek 

Energy-hungry TikTok ‘cat videos’ altering the course of armed conflict in Ukraine -- Evening Standard  

Ammo manufacturer can't make extra artillery shells because TikTok data center is using all the electricity -- TechSpot  

Ukraine Needs More Ammunition, But a TikTok Data Center Is Standing in the Way -- PC Magazine

Ukraine Using Remote-Control 'Kamikaze' Cars Packed With Explosives To Destroy Russian Targets


Daily Mail: Ukraine's newest weapon: Troops use remote-control 'kamikaze' cars packed with explosives to destroy Russian tanks 

* Video appears to show soldiers preparing remote-controlled vehicle for combat

* They then direct it towards what appears to be a Russian tank 

Footage has emerged of Ukrainian troops using remote-controlled 'kamikaze' cars packed with explosives to obliterate Russian tanks. 

Fighting is mainly centred around the easternmost regions of Ukraine, where the city of Bakhmut has been locked in intense conflict. 

Some Ukrainian soldiers on the frontlines are now using explosive-packed remote-controlled cars, also known as unmanned ground vehicles, to hit Russian targets, according to a video shared on social media over the weekend.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The above video was not taken recently. There is too much snow on the ground. The front-lines are now mostly muddy and/or barren.

EU Threatens More Sanctions Against Russia Over Its Plans To Deploy Tactical Nuclear Warheads In Belarus


Euronews/AP: EU threatens more sanctions if Russia moves nukes to Belarus Access to the comments 

The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has cautioned Belarus about allowing Russia to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory.

Borrell tweeted: “Belarus hosting Russian nuclear weapons would mean an irresponsible escalation & threat to European security. Belarus can still stop it, it is their choice. The EU stands ready to respond with further sanctions.” 

In an interview on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the move was triggered by Britain’s decision last week to provide Ukraine with armour-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium. 

Tactical nuclear weapons are intended for use on the battlefield. They have a short range and a low yield compared with much more powerful nuclear warheads fitted to long-range missiles.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: EU Threatens More Sanctions If Russia Stations Tactical Nuclear Weapons In Belarus (Zero Hedge/Epoch Times)  

Update #2: EU will respond to Kremlin's nuclear blackmail with new sanctions - Borrell (Ukrinform)  

WNU Editor: There is not much left to sanction. This nuclear deployment to Belarus also tells me that any Western hope for regime change in Belarus is not going to happen. 

And as for Ukraine receiving depleted uranium shells that resulted in the Kremlin making the announcement of deploying tactical nuclear missiles to Belarus, those munitions are now on their way .... Depleted-uranium shells, the armour-busting munitions heading to Ukraine (France 24).

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 3.27.2023 (Video)


 WNU Editor: A lot of updates on the Russia - Ukraine war from the Military Summary channel (see above). Alexander Mercouris gives his updates on the war below. 

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Is The U.S. About To Lose The Middle East?

Chinese President Xi and Saudi Crown Prince Salman  

19FortyFive: China’s New Mideast Order is Anti-American  

Thanks to Joe Biden’s horrific leadership, America is about to lose the Middle East and will soon see China and Russia capturing it.  

After negotiating a major peace agreement between the feuding Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, China’s President Xi Jinping flew to Moscow to broker a ceasefire agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. 

While no ceasefire in that war has been reached, the meeting between Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping resulted in what was essentially the birth of a new, Eurasian world order, in which China and Russia would be the dominant players and the United States would become increasingly isolated and ancillary to that world order. 

Shortly thereafter, Russia brokered a separate peace between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The US is not only being pushed out of the Middle East, but it is also being pushed out of Africa, South America, and parts of Asia. 

U.S./Western sanctions against Russia has been a wake-up call for non-Western countries on what are financial consequences if you run afoul of Western policies. China is offering an alternative, and many nations are jumping on it.

North Korea Fires Two Test Missiles In Response To The US Carrier Group Nimitz Arriving In South Korea For Drills


SKY News: North Korea fires two test missiles as US deploys USS Nimitz aircraft carrier group to South Korea for drills  

The missiles were fired off North Korea's east coast landing outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. It comes as the US sends the nuclear-powered USS Nimitz and its accompanying ship group to carry out joint military exercises off the coast of South Korea. 

North Korea has fired two test missiles as its neighbour South Korea begins joint military drills with the US. 

The short-range ballistic missiles were reportedly launched off North Korea's eastern coast and landed outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, according to the Japanese government, which is protesting against the incident.  

Read more .... 

North Korea Fires Two Test Missiles As The US Carrier Group Nimitz Arrives In South Korea For Drills  

North Korea test-fires 2 more missiles as US sends carrier -- AP  

North Korea fires missiles as U.S. aircraft carrier set to arrive in South -- CNBC/Reuters  

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles towards eastern waters -- France 24  

North Korea test-fires 2 missiles as US carrier begins exercises with South Korean warships -- The Hill  

North Korea fires two missiles as U.S. aircraft carrier arrives -- UPI  

North Korea's flurry of launches continues as U.S. carrier trains with South -- Japan Times

Indonesia Is The Latest Country To Move Away From The US Dollar And Western Financial Institutions

Plastic money: An employer supervises the printing of Bank Mandiri credit cards at the state-owned lender's headquarters in Jakarta in 2016.(Antara/Puspa Perwitasari) 

Indonesia Expat: Indonesian Government to Launch the Domestic Credit Card 

President Joko Widodo’s statement that he prefers credit cards used by the government to be issued by domestic issuers rather than foreign companies has been met with positivity from Indonesia’s credit card issuers. 

Executive Director of the Indonesian Credit Card Association (AKKI), Steve Marta said that the government should encourage the use of government credit cards that utilise local issuers and public credit cards. 

“It’s not only government credit cards but I think we should also have local credit cards one day,” Marta told CNBC Indonesia on Thursday, 6th March 2023. 

Marta stated that the banking sector’s credit card issuers would also endorse this measure, citing security risks associated with credit cards issued overseas, as highlighted by Jokowi’s comments about US sanctions against Russia during the Ukraine conflict.  

Read more ....  

Update: BI pushes ahead with domestic credit card to cut reliance on foreign ones (Jakarta Post)  

WNU Editor: Almost everyday I am reading a news report from a country or a foreign financial institution that has made the decision to minimize and/or move away completely from the US dollar. But in the West there is little if any coverage in the main stream media of these developments.

Myanmar Military Pledges Decisive Action Against Its Opponents


BBC: Myanmar army chief vows to crush resistance in rare speech 

The pageantry of Myanmar's annual military parade did little to mask the sinister message - the country's armed forces won't stop fighting those opposing their rule, whatever the cost. 

A civil war has engulfed the country since a military coup in 2021. 

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, and more than a million have been displaced. 

But General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the military government, showed no signs of backing down in a rare speech. 

The regime, he said, would deal decisively with what he described as "acts of terror" by armed resistance groups. And, he added, countries which have condemned his coup - supporters of terror, he branded them - were wrong and should join the military in shaping its own form of democracy. 

Read more .... 

Myanmar Military Pledges Decisive Action Against Its Opponents 

Myanmar army leader calls for decisive action to crush foes -- AP  

Myanmar junta chief vows no let up in crackdown, then polls -- RFI/AFP  

Myanmar junta chief vows to crush opposition -- DW  

Myanmar junta chief vows continued crackdown, then elections -- CNA  

Myanmar military pledges decisive action against opponents -- Al Jazeera  

Myanmar junta throws huge military parade days after new US sanctions -- CNN